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Dr. Jim Taylor Receives Difference Maker Award from U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers


Dr. Jim Taylor, president of University of the Cumberlands, left, receives a “Difference Maker Award” from U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers on August 11.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers was on the campus of University of the Cumberlands on Wednesday, August 11, to present a Difference Maker Award to President Jim Taylor.

During a brief presentation ceremony in the Hal Rogers Lecture Hall of the Hutton School of Business on campus, Rogers praised Taylor for his work on the transformation of “a sleepy little college in Southeast Kentucky into this dynamic university that we see today.”

He also honored the vision of Taylor and the administration for proposing the “Rogers Explorers” program and hosting the program since its inception in 2006. “They wanted to expose students to a college campus before they ever went to high school, just to broaden the mind and broaden the potential that we would want them to look forward to,” he said.

Rogers spoke of Cumberlands’ connection with and support of Operation Unite and mentioned that the campus has also hosted Camp Unite for three summers.

“I’m here to pay tribute to one of my mentors—one of my chief mentors, said Rogers of Taylor. “He’s an educator; he’s an entrepreneur; he’s a public servant; he’s a leader, and certainly, he is a difference maker.”

From the certificate, Rogers read, “In recognition of the many years of hard work, dedication and commitment to Operation Unite and the Center for Rural Development and all the other things that he’s done. Take the initiative and lead the way. You make the difference.”

Rogers also encouraged the Cumberlands students, former Rogers Scholars and Rogers Explorers, parents, faculty and staff and community members who comprised the audience of approximately 50 individuals to make a difference as well.“Everyone is equipped with the potential to be difference makers, but it takes tenacity; it takes integrity; it takes courage of conviction to fuel a person’s determination to go the extra mile, and to truly make a difference.

The Rogers Explorers and Rogers Scholars programs are sponsored by The Center for Rural Development, and there is no cost, including room and meals, to the students who participate. Since 1998, Rogers Scholars has addressed and worked to reverse, the high level of out-migration suffered by rural southern and eastern Kentucky. Students apply in their sophomore year of high school, and those accepted attend during the following summer. The week-long program is designed to introduce the participants to opportunities within the region. Several alumni of this program are former or current students of University of the Cumberlands.

Rogers Explorers is an intensive three day, two night program focusing on developing skills in leadership, technology, entrepreneurship, and community service. Selected students attend during the summer before their ninth-grade year at one of three campuses in Kentucky: Cumberlands, EKU or Lindsey Wilson.

Held annually during the last week of July at University of the Cumberlands, Camp UNITE is a free 4-day, 3-night leadership/adventure summer program for youth entering grades 7-9. Sponsored by Operation UNITE, whose name is an acronym that stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education, it reflects the three-pronged, comprehensive approach deemed necessary to combating substance abuse in Kentucky: undercover narcotics investigations, coordinated treatment and support for substance abusers, families and friends and education about the dangers of using drugs.